Wednesday, June 04, 2014

A Day In the Life...

I was chatting with my (14 y/o) son the other day, and he asked if there were any Beatles songs that weren't hits*.  Naturally, I was inspired to look it up.  Based on my secret source, There were 20 Beatles songs that made it to the Hot 100, but not the Top 40.  They also had 20 #1 songs, so that's a pretty good hit ratio.  Oh, and 23 songs on the Rolling Stones list of 500 Greatest Rock Songs.

Anyway, back to the 20 that didn't crack the Top 40:  Which ones are most notable?

  • From Me To You (1964) - Peaked at #41
  • All My Loving (1964) - Peaked at #45
  • Act Naturally (1965) - #47
  • You Can't Do That (1964) - #48
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (1976) - #49 [Note that this was released 5 years after the band broke up]
  • If I Fell (1964) - #53
  • I Am The Walrus (1967) - #56
  • Roll Over Beethoven (1964) - #68
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends  (1978) - #71 [Again, released long after the band had broke-up]
  • I'm Happy Just To Dance With You (1964) - #95
On further review, I don't think we can call these songs duds.  I think most of them were simply drowned out by other Beatles songs.  Note that half songs listed here were released in 1964, when the Beatles had 19 other Top 40 Hits.  Wow.

In fact, between 1/18/64 and  12/18/65, The Beatles scored Twenty Six (26) Top 40 hits.  that's more than 2 per month average, over 2 years.  Double wow...

* Context:  I tend to put on obscure playlists in the car, and then explain them to whoever will listen.  This conversation started with expoundings on "Great rock songs from 1974 that were released as singles but did not make it to the Top 40".  But that's another story.

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